Religion in Djibouti– Muslim

Islamic acceptance of LGBT?

It is argued by some Muslim schools that homosexual couples are allowed to have relationship privately
as long as they do not expose their intercourse publicly. Also, ‘undermining of the public order through
obscenities' seems to be more important than 'sexual orientation of people' (Sharhrur 2009: 205, note 23).
It is claimed that God also gives permissions and freedom to people.

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(Ali, Shaheryar & Manto, Nuwas 2011)

The Truth?

However, one should be reminded that the ‘freedom’ is very limited. First, both women and men are
not allowed to have public sexual intercourse, despite the fact that the punishment on gays are harsher
and discrimination towards gays are more serious than those of lesbians. Second, if they are witnessed
to have such behavior, they will absolutely receive serious punishment (Sharhurur 2009: 204-205). In fact,
homosexuality is regarded as immoral and a violation of the normal institution of marriage (Siraj 2012: 451).

Why Religion matters?

Since Djibouti, like many other African countries, is a country with the majority of Muslims, the social attitudes
towards LGBT are largely shaped by Muslim thoughts (Siraj 2012: 451). The influence of Muslim is always stressed that
it largely shapes the identity of people in every aspect of daily life and personal development ( Siraj 2012: 457).
It is regarded as a very serious matter if Muslims violate their religion beliefs, making homosexuals unwilling to
admit their identity. Sometimes they may even find themselves being lost if they are rejected by Muslim society
and family (Siraj 2012).

The difficulties Lesbian Muslims may encounter (Siraj 2012)

  • supposed to be tied with Muslim which does not accept their sexual oreintation (Siraj 2012: 452)
  • their religious citizenship will be denied if their LGBT identity are known (Siraji 2012: 452)
=>freedom of religion and freedom of relationship cannot exist at the same time
  • no 'theological capital' which possesed by Jewish and Christians, meaning religious organizations for LGBT are not available (Siraj 2012: 452)
  • no support and even opposition from Islamic family members (Siraji 2012: 455)
  • internal struggle between faith and LGBT emotions (Siraji 2012:460)